Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Mosque Mess

I've been very frustrated with my fellow Americans about the not-Mosque at not-Ground Zero. I even got into a Facebook argument with an old high school acquaintance, which was probably a mistake. Facebook is better for announcing that you just had a great meal than for pointing out how un-American people are.

Anyway, my responses ended up being a half-written article, so I went ahead and did a full Smile Politely column about it.  It's called  The Burlington Coat Factory Mosque, and is available here.

It's hard to say much that hasn't already been said.  As usual, Jon Stewart has been the most poignant and the most funny.  Monday's show was no exception, as he pointed out how Fox News is trying to smear the not-Mosque by associating it with an Islamic group run by...Fox News' very own top shareholder. It's long, but well worth viewing.

And, in even more depressing news, Pew came out with a new poll about Americans views of Islam. Unsurprisingly (by now, anyway), 51% oppose the not-Mosque. What shocked me was this:

62% say that Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build houses of worship in their local communities.
Lots of opposition to the Mosque has been wrapped in language of "we believe in freedom of religion, we just think the location of this [not] Mosque is insensitive." But the numbers above are a lot more sobering. Read it and weep. About 38% of Americans apparently do not believe in freedom of religion.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Worst Traffic Jam Ever

Those Chinese -- always trying to one up us. Now they are competing for bad traffic jams too.

Worst traffic jam ever? Gridlock spans 60 miles

A traffic jam stretching more than 60 miles in China has entered its ninth day with no end in sight, state media reported.

Cars and trucks have been slowed to a crawl since August 14 on the National Expressway 110, which is also known as the G110, the major route from Beijing to Zhangjiakou, Xinhua News reported.

Officials expect the congestion to continue until workers complete construction projects on September 13, the report said.